NEW YORK - The guide dog that leaped onto subway tracks after his blind owner lost consciousness and fell off a station platform is assured a loving home after his retirement.
Cecil Williams, who has been recovering at a hospital with Orlando by his side, had been slated to get another dog in January or February to replace the 11-year-old black Lab.
Now, he would ideally like to have two dogs - one working and one retired as a pet - if logistics and finances allow.
If that's not possible, the family that raised Orlando as a puppy says it will be "absolutely thrilled to have him back," said Guiding Eyes for the Blind spokeswoman Michelle Brier. "They're very thrilled their little baby has made such a big difference."
Williams said Tuesday that he couldn't pay for a nonworking dog, so he was planning to look for a good home for Orlando. Guiding Eyes, based in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., provides working dogs for free but cannot cover retired dogs' expenses.
After the AP published its interview and photographs of Williams with Orlando in his hospital room, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center has been fielding queries from well-wishers offering money and other assistance.
Guiding Eyes has "graciously stepped forward to handle those inquiries," said hospital spokesman Jim Mandler.
The organization was setting up a fund and planned to post information on its website.